The risk assessment of infectious animal diseases involves assessing the risk of a pathogen entering and spreading within the country. Where they apply, the risk assessment instructions issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are adhered to (OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code).
The nature of the hazard is assessed in the risk assessment of infectious animal diseases: the characteristics of the pathogen, the means of spreading, the means of transmission and risk-prone animals and forms of production. The likelihood of the disease entering the country and/or spreading in the country and its concentration (for example regionally or to different forms of production) are assessed by way of risk assessment. When assessing the spread within the country, the number of disease outbreaks is also determined and so are often also the direct and indirect economic effects of an epidemic. In these cases the assessment can be carried out in co-operation with MTT Economic Research. Risk assessment can also assess the efficiency and cost efficiency of different preventative measures affecting the risk, or if the risk materialises, the measures available to reduce the effects of it. Such measures are e.g. disease protection, logistical arrangements, vaccinations and other methods of reducing the spread of the disease that are possible under EU legislation.
Risk assessments of infectious animal diseases are mainly carried out for diseases affecting production animals (pigs, cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, farmed fish), but risk assessments dealing with game and fisheries are also possible.